Just over a month after being cast as Christian Grey, the kinky-sex-having hero of the big-screen adaptation of Fifty Shades Of Grey, Charlie Hunnam has decided he’d rather not play the part after all. The Hollywood Reporter confirms that Hunnam has left the project because, according to the original press release from Universal Pictures, “Hunnam’s immersive TV schedule… is not allowing him time to adequately prepare for the role of Christian Grey.” Hunnam is one of the stars of the FX series Sons Of Anarchy.
But it’s not as if the show, which is currently wrapping production on its sixth season, popped up out of nowhere; Hunnam knew his “immersive TV schedule” before he signed on. The whole thing smelled a little fishy, and a few hours later, THR updated its story with more (and somewhat contradictory) information about why Hunnam dropped out:
“Hunnam, 33, was overwhelmed with the attention he received from being cast in the movie and got cold feet about carrying such a high-profile project. Universal was forced to hire bodyguards for the actor at a recent Sons Of Anarchy premiere, where questions about Fifty Shades dominated the red carpet.”
THR’s sources insisted that Hunnam had “no reservations about the role of Christian Grey”—i.e. “Please do not print that he was nervous about having kinky sex on camera.”—but rather that he was not looking forward to the “media and fan frenzy” that were part and parcel with the movie. Which, again, didn’t pop up out of nowhere, but okay.
No doubt the crazed Fifty Shades obsessives who started petitions decrying Hunnam’s casting will celebrate their victory today—and, sadly, if “fan frenzy” was the real reason Hunnam bailed, they might have played a role. And no doubt the speculation about who will take over the role will start all over again. Matt Bomer, how do you feel about media and fan frenzy? I’m asking for a friend who’s producing a movie of a book with a lot of nudity in it.